Healthcare Open Enrollment is Here!
November 1st - December 15th
What is Healthcare Open Enrollment? It is the only time during the year that an individual who is eligible for Medicaid may apply for health insurance. During this time, consumers can sign up for private health insurance plans either through the Marketplace or through a private broker. If you are not offered health insurance through your employer, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, or another source that provides qualifying coverage, the Marketplace can help you get insured.
You can qualify for low-cost insurance!
The Health Insurance Marketplace offers significant savings on your monthly insurance premiums, as well as lower costs on out-of-pocket medical expenses.
1) During previous years, Open Enrollment lasted for a period of three months. However, the 2018 Open Enrollment period will only last a total of 45 days. For anyone purchasing a Marketplace insurance plan through healthcare.gov or any other type of individual insurance plan through a private broker, the 2018 enrollment period is from November 1st to December 15th, 2017.
2) The network and benefits of each plan is not affected based on where you purchase it. If you purchase a plan through the Marketplace and receive subsidies, the network and benefits of the plan will be exactly the same as if you purchase the plan directly from an insurance company or a private broker. If you are eligible for governmental help paying for the cost of the plan, make sure to purchase the plan through the Marketplace.
3) If a woman is enrolled in an insurance plan through the Marketplace and then becomes eligible for Medicaid due to a pregnancy, she can choose to keep her Marketplace plan OR enroll in Medicaid. She cannot have both simultaneously. Please note that she only has this choice if she is enrolled in an insurance plan when she finds out she is eligible for Medicaid due to pregnancy. She will not be eligible for a Marketplace plan with financial assistance if she applies when she is eligible for Medicaid. If you are pregnant and eligible for Medicaid and would like to stay enrolled in a Marketplace plan for 2018 with tax credits, call the LRRC for guidance before applying.
4) Any lawfully present immigrant (green card holder, student, refugee etc.) can buy private health insurance on the Marketplace at healthcare.gov If your income is very low, this plan will be exceptionally affordable.
If you are pregnant or have a Green Card for at least five years, and your income is very low, you can qualify for NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid. Call the LRRC for more information.
5) Which Marketplace Plan is Best for Me - Part 1: AmeriHealth, Horizon, and Oscar sell multiple health insurance plans on the Marketplace. Each company has a distinct network of doctors and facilities. Some plans have two tiers of coverage, and you will pay more to visit doctors in "Tier 2". Doctors who are not in the network of your plan will not be covered at all. You must find out from your doctors in which insurance network they participate and whether they belong to Tier 1 or Tier 2 (Horizon's Tier 1 is called "Omnia").
6) Which Marketplace Plan is Best for Me - Part 2: Think about your medical history and what services and medications you may need. Estimate and compare how much you may have to pay over the year under each plan. If you are healthy and rarely go to a doctor, a low-premium high-deductible Bronze plan may be for you. A Silver plan, which costs more monthly, but will cover doctor’s visits and generic medications, is also a good choice. A more expensive plan with a lower deductible is best if you foresee needing a lot of medical services.